Or is it hello hay-fever, congestion and feeling sluggish for you?
Spring is a season of birth, new beginnings, renewal, and growth, a time for the earth to make manifest the latent potential within all things. Seeds are germinating, flowers budding, insects buzzing, leaves unfurling. And despite our growing separation from the natural world, we are deeply affected by this gentle stirring around us. Our physiology senses a natural opportunity for a fresh, clean start; our bodies are primed to lighten things up, cleanse ourselves of any accumulated imbalances, and rejuvenate our deepest tissues.
As the natural world emerges from its long winter slumber, it is common to experience a renewed sense of joy and inspiration. But for many, the spring season is also associated with:
- Hay fever, and
DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE THAT STRUGGLES IN SPRING?
In Ayurveda, Spring is governed by the Kapha dosha, which is one of three Ayurvedic Doshas and it has the qualities of being heavy, dense, wet and cool. As these qualities are naturally increasing during this month in nature, they are also increasing in your mind and body. When Kapha is in balance it provides strength and stamina, immunity, peace, love, generosity, and good memory; it lubricates the joints, as well as provides sufficient mucous to protect the mucous membranes of the sinuses, lungs and stomach.
When Kapha is out of balance, you might feel sleepy, mentally dull or depressed; you may have limbs that feel heavy, sluggish digestion, colds and flus or feel puffy due to fluid retention. One of the most common conditions experienced in spring is the excess production of phlegm and mucous. Sinusitis, asthma, lung conditions, hay fever and allergies are all aggravated and prominent during this month.
As spring is the natural cleansing season, it is best to utilise this energy to clear out excess Ama / toxins and accumulated Kapha to avoid the undesirable conditions mentioned above. So what can we do to support the body’s natural process of detoxification at this time of year?
Here are 9 tips on how you can gently help the body's detoxification at home:
1. Avoid heavy food since they will aggravate allergies, water retention and sluggishness. This includes all dairy, wheat, yeasted breads, meat, refined and processed food, left overs, canned food, baked goods, refined sugar and oily food.
2. Meals should be light, warm and simple – lightly cooked vegetables, grains and legumes cooked in small amounts of ghee or coconut oil.
3. Eat bitter greens such as kale, rocket, spinach, mustard greens, nettle and dandelion leaf as these stimulate the release of digestive enzymes and enhance liver function to support detoxification.
4. Include pungent, warming and drying spices such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, cumin, fennel. The qualities of these spices break up Ama and help to combat the mucous forming aspects of Kapha.
5. Increase grains such as barley, quinoa, basmati rice and millet.
6. Avoid ice-cold food and drinks. Drink plenty of room temperature or warm water and sip on warming herbal teas such as ginger, fennel and cumin throughout the day.
7. Enjoy exercise outdoors, daily Yoga such as the Sun salutations sequence and preform exercise vigorously enough to get your heart racing and sweat beading. If possible have steams or saunas. If you can, take a hot bath with Epsom salt a few times per week. Sweating is important as it stimulates the lymphatic system and opens all the minute channels in the body so the toxins can be eliminated easier.
8. Begin each day with a cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. This will help kick start your metabolism to burn fat and start the cleansing process.
9. Avoid alcohol, coffee, cigarettes and any other toxic vices you might be attached to right now.
Comment below if you found this article a good companion to the last one. I have been meeting a lot of people at the studio feeling heaviness and even though I would normally share this information in my Ayurveda Masterclasses, I thought to share it here. So let me know if it makes sense. Did this article explain WHY we are feeling the way we are? And that there are gentler way to aid the body to naturally detox.
Lastly, I'm curious to know what is the 1 biggest challenge you face with your health when spring comes along? If you don't mind, comment below or send me a private email here.
Until the next one, happy springtime!
Supriya Roy (Ayurveda Practitioner & Founder of Seva Yoga)